Wednesday, I blogged about curmudgeons at gun ranges. You know those people with a little authority (or none at all) who come up to you and tell you everything you’re doing wrong. Usually, you’re not doing anything at all wrong, they are the ones who don’t know a given rule or law.
A number of people commented on my post. Seth from Massachusetts pointed out that some people just need correction. Of course he’s right, but those of us who aren’t doing anything wrong are greatly annoyed by busybodies who think they know it all. (You know the old saying; “Those who only think they know everything are very annoying to those of us who do.”)
I want to discuss the coin’s other side. There are unskilled shooters out there, believe it or not. These are people who buy a gun and think that years of movie and television watching make them ready to use that gun. You’ve seen them at your range and they take several forms.
They’re the ones who hold the gun in a death grip, spread their legs wide, and then turn their heads while shooting as fast as they can. They don’t hit anything worth mentioning, but their bullets fly down range.
Then there are the ones who turn the gun sideways and blast away. I guess they don’t know what the sights are for. Maybe they think they’re nubs to hold the gun in its holster.
You also have those folks who come to an indoor range and blast away with a rented rifle. Now, I’ve rented rifles or brought my own. Nothing wrong with that. But, these are the ones who hang a target at fifteen feet and proceed to put shots in every place but in the target rings—with a rifle at short range.
Of course, you have trash shooters who don’t clean up after themselves, or who shoot things that aren’t real targets (i.e., road signs) but we’ll leave those for another discussion.
The people I described above don’t know they’re doing anything wrong. They're not malicious, they're just unskilled. As far as they’re concerned, that’s how you shoot. You know why that is? Gun control. Yep, gun banners are at fault (of course I blame rainy days on gun banners, but that’s another story).
Gun banners have made shooting a “suspect” activity. It almost seems today, that if you teach your own child how to shoot, you’ll be arrested. We’re not there yet, but I’m sure gun grabbers would want to pass a law preventing anyone from giving a gun to a kid. If you can’t let your kid touch a gun, you can’t teach him how to shoot it. There are not enough of us passing skills to our kids, which is the way I learned how to shoot.
If your parents didn’t teach you how to shoot maybe you could learn from a neighbor. Well, depending on where you live, many gunnies don’t want to admit they’re gun owners and shooters. People who want to shoot, don’t know whom to ask for help.
Gun banners also like to close ranges or drive them out of business. There goes another opportunity to learn shooting skills.
Formal shooting schools are hard to find, again depending on where you live, and often expensive. If you don’t have the time, money, and travel wherewithal to spend on a class, you can’t learn that way. Some gun banners I’ve talked to, also tend to link shooting schools with militia training and such. One anti-gun person at work saw a report on GunSite and told me, “They teach people how to kill.” No I said, “They teach people how to defend themselves with a gun and do it safely.”
So where do you get training? Gun grabbers aren’t going to teach it. They demonize NRA to where many “liberal” gun owners don’t want anything to do with the organization. In short, the only training many can get is going to the range, watching movies, and hoping for the best.
It’s not all gun banners fault. These unskilled shooters should ask others for help, although too many don’t know they need help. Some are too convinced they're right to ask.
Also, gunnies should give freely of their time to help someone to learn to shoot. Also, we’re all responsible to ensure a range stays safe. Any unsafe practice must be halted immediately.
Still, an unintended consequence of anti-gun behavior is an increase in unskilled gun owners. Maybe they should think about that next time they want to close a range, school, or pass laws.